Parents oppose TikTok after deadly incident

More than 60,000 concerned parents believe that regulators in Europe should intervene in the popular video app TikTok because it does not do enough to ensure the safety of the mostly young users. That says the Research Market Information Foundation (SOMI), which represents these parents.

This article was published on 7th April 2020 on Radar in the Netherlands. 
Please find the English translation below.

According to SOMI, concerns about the Chinese platform among parents are greater than ever after another deadly incident with the so-called 'blackout challenge' on TikTok. In addition, people let themselves suffocate for as long as possible while filming themselves. Last month, a twelve-year-old American boy is said to have died as a result of that challenge. Earlier this year, a ten-year-old Italian girl also died from the blackout challenge, her parents said. Children under the age of sixteen do need permission from their parents for a TikTok account, but according to SOMI, the age check is easy to circumvent.

Paradise for child predators and dangerous challenges

Radar previously reported that SOMI already appealed to Dutch and European regulators in January to take tougher action against TikTok. An appeal is now also being made to Ireland, where TikTok has established its European headquarters, to intervene immediately. SOMI states that in addition to the many dangerous challenges on TikTok, the social medium is also a paradise for child predators looking for victims.

TikTok violates privacy regulations

Moreover, TikTok violates privacy regulations, according to the foundation that is preparing a collective claim against the app. "The participants come from all over Europe. Anyone who has their own account or has children with a TikTok account can participate in the claim," said Cor Wijtvliet, co-founder of SOMI.

TikTok has said it is doing a lot to ensure the safety of young users. For example, accounts of users between thirteen and fifteen years old would be set to private by default and strangers would not be able to see their videos automatically. Moderators also ban inappropriate videos and users can report offensive material. According to TikTok, the safety of young users is the number one priority.

Click here for the original article on (in Dutch)